WATCH: Footage emerges as Carlos Alcaraz takes first tentative steps towards comeback

Shahida Jacobs
Carlos Alcaraz in action
Carlos Alcaraz of Spain during his tennis match

Carlos Alcaraz has started training with a racket for the first time since the Madrid Open as he looks to regain full fitness ahead of the French Open.

The reigning Wimbledon champion has struggled with a a forearm problem since the start of the clay-court season and, although MRI scans cleared him from any serious injury, he missed the Monte Carlo Masters as well as his Barcelona Open title defence.

The Spaniard eventually returned at the Madrid Open, but the defending champion suffered a three-set defeat to Andrey Rublev in the quarter-final and later withdrew from the Italian Open as he was still in discomfort.

“I felt some pain after playing in Madrid, some discomfort in my arm. Today I did some tests and I have a muscle edema in my pronator teres, a consequence of my recent injury,” he explained.

“Unfortunately I will not be able to play in Rome. I need to rest so I can recover and play 100 per cent pain free. I am very sorry, I will see you next year.”

The 20-year-old took a break from training with his racket as he spent time working with his physiotherapist Alberto Lledo.

After 12 days he finally received the all-clear to start hitting again as he returned to practice in Murcia with footage of him sliding on the clay doing the rounds on social media.

One thing is clear though, there was no hard hitting from Alcaraz as he opted not to put too much strain on his arm in his comeback training session.

Alcaraz has just under two weeks to shake off the injury completely as the 2024 French Open gets underway on May 26.

The Spaniard is set to be seeded third, meaning he will face either Novak Djokovic or Jannik Sinner in the semi-final if he does reach the last four.

The two-time Grand Slam winner, though, has not been at his best so far this season as he has won only one title – the Indian Wells Open – with his win-loss record 18-5 for the season. Those defeats have come against Alexander Zverev,Nicolas Jarry, Thiago Monteiro, Grigor Dimitrov and Rublev.

Following his injury woes, Alcaraz has lost touch with the top two of Djokovic and Sinner in the ATP Rankings and he is in danger of slipping to No 4 behind Daniil Medvedev after Roland Garros as he has 720 points to defend at the clay-court Grand Slam.

READ MORE: Carlos Alcaraz’s injury record unwrapped: growing pains or long-term problem?